As an 8 year old my crush at the time was Mr. Holmes. I read all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories in translation, but that just added an extra flair to conjuring up what 18 century England was like. Like people who love horror movies, going through the fright in the safe and comfortable surrounding of reality was pretty stimulating for me. I loved Sherlock Holmes’ clothes, manners, smarts, aloofness, slicked back black hair, lanky stature, ability to shoot a pistol, love of the violin, everything — and best of all, he had NO girlfriend!!! Ha ha!!! My young and tender heart could barely stand it!!! When he was pushed over the falls, I nearly died too. The only place that I could read these stories was in my dad’s study. After our family dinner, he’d retreat to his study to write speeches, and I would get under a throw and curl up to read these horrific stories, maybe with a soda by the side.
I think the titles alone were worthy of investigation, e.g., “The Man with the Twisted Lip,” “The Red-Headed League,” “The Adventure of the Cooper Beeches.” The illustrations were sparse but great, for example, look at Professor Moriarty, illustrated by Sidney Paget, which accompanied the original publication of ‘The Final Problem.”
A few years later, when our family emigrated to the States, this excellent series came on Public Broadcasting System (a publicly-funded TV channel in the US), and well, you can imagine that my already huge crush escalated to a monumental proportion when Mr Holmes came to life in the form of Jeremy Brett in the Granada Production.
Of course, as an adult, my fascination with Sherlock Holmes has weaned to almost just a memory, but it’s a good memory. And I have a special affection for children who read. Whenever I see a bespectacled elementary school kid’s reading, I will try to strike a conversation and find out what’s so fascinating in those little hands. I just saw a trailer for Hollywood’s production of Sherlock Holmes. Why would anyone do anything like that! Events surrounding 221b Baker Street took place in the 19th century. People didn’t fly out of the window like they do in cartoons!!! Robert Downey Jr is NO SHERLOCK HOLMES!!!! Urghhh. I’m feeling almost as pissed as Professor Moriarity.